The Dalesman's Litany

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It's hard when folks can't find their work
Where they've been bred and born
When I was young I always thought
I'd bide midst fruits and corn
But I've been forced to work in town
So here's my Litany
From Hull and Halifax and hell
Good Lord deliver me.

2. When I was courting Mary Jane
The old Squire he said to me
I've got no rooms for wedded folk
Choose whether to go or to stay
I could not give up the girl I loved
So to town I was forced to flee
From Hull and Halifax and hell
Good Lord deliver me.

3. I've worked in Leeds and Huddersfield
And I've earned some honest brass
In Bradford, Keighly Rotherham
I've kept me bairns and lass
I've travelled all three Ridings round
And once I went to sea
From forges, mills and coaling boats
Good Lord Deliver me.

4. I've walked at night through Sheffield loin
Twas just like being in hell
Where furnaces thrust out tongues of fire
And roared like the wind on the fell
I've sacked up coal in Barnsley pit
With muck up to my knee
From Barnsley Sheffield Rotherham
Good Lord deliver me.

5. I've seen fog creep across Leeds bridge
As thick as the Bastille soup
I've lived where folks were stowed away
Like rabbits in a coop
I've seen snow float down Bradford Beck
As black as ebony
From Hunslet Holbeck Wivsey Stack
Good Lord Deliver me.

6. But now that all our children have gone
To the country we've come back
There's forty miles of heathery moor
Twixt us and the coalpit stack
And as I sit by the fire at night
I'll laugh and shout with glee
From Hull and Halifax and hell
The good Lord delivered me.

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